Abstract: Fetal alcohol syndrome produces defects that parallel abnormalities associated with early iron deficiency. Hence, we examined the effects of prenatal exposure to ethanol on iron, transferrin, and ferritin concentrations. The subjects were the offspring of pregnant rats fed an ethanol‐containing diet (Et), pair‐fed an isocaloric control diet (Ct), or fed chow and water. The amounts of iron, transferrin, and ferritin were assessed in three CNS regions (cerebral cortex, subcortical forebrain, and brain‐stem). In all three segments of the control rats, iron, transferrin, and ferritin levels decreased during the first 2 postnatal weeks, reached a minimum during week 3, and then rose to adult levels. This pattern was delayed by ethanol treatment, e.g., the minimal concentrations in iron, transferrin, and ferritin in the Et‐treated rats were achieved later (3 days, 7 days, and 2 weeks, respectively) than they were in the Ct‐treated rats. Ethanol‐induced alterations in iron homeostasis persisted into adulthood; iron concentration was reduced, transferrin concentration was unaffected, and ferritin concentration was increased. The net result was that the timely delivery and bioavailability of iron were compromised by ethanol exposure. The defects in iron regulation are permanent and may underlie ethanol‐induced abnormalities in iron‐dependent growth processes such as myelination.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of neurochemistry|
|State||Published - Jul 1995|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience